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Akil's Providence

"Ah, she is a beauty. Truly. Manufactured by the Empire's most capable artisans, conceived by its brightest minds, this vessel will usher in a new age for our people. And possibly for the peoples beyond this realm. For the right price, of course..."
Akil Tibeshu addressing his court before attending the Akil's Providence's maiden voyage
    Long and sleek is Akil's Providence. A marvel of engineering and a testament to the Usefari's ingenuity. Belonging to the Stormsurge class, one of two classes of Akil's Skyvessels, this vehicle heralds in a new age of transportation. The continent of Ra'dishra is immense and the distances that trade resources have to cover are vast. As such, the Usefari Trade Dynasty has excelled again and found a solution to further optimize their business. How valid the application of this technology is on a large scale though remains to be seen...   The construction of the Skyvessels lends itself to nautical vessels: a wooden hull, deck and sail being the most familiar features. But since the Skyvessels do not need to traverse waters but, of course, the sky, they have very distinct mechanics when it comes to steering. The function of the sails of a Skyvessel is in fact not to catch the wind in order to propel the vessel forward, but to steer the vehicle with an agility that belittles the mobility of maritime sailing ships. A complex array of pulleys and rigging manipulates a multitude of lamellar sails of varying sizes, which are attached to various parts of the ship. This makes a Skyvessel an impressive sight indeed and the notion of operating such a craft might be mindboggling to most people.   Although Akil's Providence shares its structural design with other courier type vessels of the Stormsurge class, it is very unique and a one of a kind commission. First and foremost it is a princely, representative vessel: adorned with gilded fittings and bearing Akil's court of arms, its hull of Nkahzo wood polished to an immaculate sheen. Whereas the crew of regular Stormsurge Skyvessels is kept to a bare minimum for the sake of swiftness, the Akil's Providence boasts an almost affluent array of staff: three manservants attending to Akil's every need, accompanied by three of his personal bodyguards, alongside the obligatory helmsperson and an artificer mechanic. The latter two, required to operate every Skyvessel, were handpicked for this vehicle and are amongst the most capable of their craft. Mabela Ushugwe, a 52 years old and much respected woman in her field, was indeed instrumental in developing the energy generator powering this ship. Her input on practical apllication of artifice-aided machinery was invaluable to make the achenite generator in its current form as compact and efficient as it is. As such, Mabela Ushugwe is honoured by accompanying Akil on his voyages and she sees it that way. Curiously, Akil is quite knowledgeable concerning the workings of the artifice-infused machinery and can stand his ground as an artificer layman in those matters. Even though he lacks any magical ability, this does not stop him in studying the workings of these engineering marvels: While voyaging on the Akil's Providence, the Trade Prince and the Artificer can often be found talking shop extensively.   Helmsperson of the Akil's Providence is Omusa Sartu, a formerly seafaring captain. This person has not just shown exceptional navigational skills aboard Akil's flagship The keen Sa√≠fu but also an adeptness for mechanical matters. As the steering of the Skyvessels requires not just good navigational skills but also an understanding of its mechanical workings, Omusa Sartu was a prime candidate for the post as helm aboard the princely vessel.   The maiden voyage of the Akil's Providence took place on the 12th of Setrenden of the year 1260 TY, a Sundrinsrest, and covered the distance from Charatis to Iastradore in less than two days. A distance regular sailing ships usually need twenty days for and over-land caravans close to a month! The beginning of the voyage in Charatis was accompanied by great fanfare and opulent festivities, befitting the Trade Prince and the Lady Abzeba, who accompanied him on this voyage (under the disapproving gaze of the court). Under the awestruck eyes of Charatis's citizens, Akil's Providence soared above the magnificent city and left for Iastradore in the east, where she was met with equal pomp and docked at the newly errected Skyport tower. The whole venture was a resounding success. An impressive debut for this current, prestigious project of Akil's.   Akil intends to set up an entire fleet of Skyvessels to propel the Usefari trade towards formerly unheard of efficiency and success. For this to become a reality he needs helmspersons and artificer mechanics. A lot of them. He has deployed scouts and headhunters to scour his realm for these capable individuals and it is said that he even looks to entice artificers from abroad to join his ranks. Several Skyvessels are already commissioned, soon to start their achenite-powered engines...

Power Generation

The heart and soul of the newly developed Skyvessels is a crystal-powered generator. This groundbraking new technology uses artificer magic to power its systems through the use of Achenite crystals. The energistic properties of the crystals were only recently discovered and so far have proven to be a reliable, safe and clean energy source. A block of crystal, not needing to be larger than a one kilogram chunk, is suspended in a complex fixture of infused metall, from which artifice-infused coils, channeling the energy, run towards arcane actuators. These actuators actually are what makes the Skyvessel float and their gravity suspending magic allows further artifice to propel the vessel forward. One such block of crystal will power the generator for one month of consistent use.

Propulsion

In the same way that the gravity suspending actuators allow the vessel to leave the ground, they can be used to move the vessel in any desired direction. The actuators do not need to be aligned or oriented in any way as their magic works omnidirectional. Input from the helm's controls thus steers the vessel via the actuators but the craft still relies heavily on the correct and skillful use of its lamellar sails, as these allow for much finer and precise maneuvering.
Header image illustration by Jaime Jones
Owner
Owning Organization
Rarity
One of a kind custom build
Beam
7 metres
Length
28 metres
Speed
Up to 200 km/h flying speed
Complement / Crew
Three attendants to Akil and three personal bodyguards, one helmsperson, one artificer mechanic
Cargo & Passengers Capacity
Lavish quarters for two, six crew bunks
Akil's Providence
This is the deckplan of Akil's Providence, a new type of Skyvessel of the Stormsurge courier class. Pictured are the main deck, Akil's lavish quarters, the crew quarters and the machine deck and hold.

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Excavating past secrets   The fall of the The Arkhenith Empire is a historical fact that only a few are still aware of. Distant in time and with seemingly no impact on today's human societies, its mysteries, its mores and culture are mostly forgotten. Also its achievements and scientific discoveries. Lost to all but some... Although rare, some artifacts and sites of the Arkenith remain. Deeply burried. Horribly decrepit. Haunted and perilous. But braving these depths and unraveling their mysteries holds fortunes for the discerning delver. Extracting the prowess of the Arkenith may provide prosperity beyond measure. Rumours say that Akil and his researchers have excavated such an Arkenith site and were able to gain access to technical blueprints. Are the constructs which are depicted in those blueprints the predecessors to the Skyvessels' achenite generators?

Comments

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12 Sep, 2021 20:06

Your map and artwork is some next level stuff. I'm very temped to copy your "image-then-map" thing, that's really impressive.

13 Sep, 2021 09:37

Thank you for the kind words! I can take not credit whatsoever though for the header image since it is MtG art and definitely not mine. And yeah, I felt that the map display needed some sort of cover image, since it would only show map sections, which looks butt-ugly :-) I unfortunately have no visually artistic talents, but nonetheless care for a certain aestehtic. Once again, thanks for the feedback. Continue enjoying wordlbuilding!